Information and advice on flooding

This is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the UK. The highest flooding risk is surface water flooding, where drainage systems are unable to cope with the volume of rainfall.

What could happen:

  • damage to your home, personal property and infrastructure
  • disruption to utilities such as gas, electric and water supply
  • you may need to leave your home for a period of time

What the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum is doing:

  • working with local flood groups such as Tadcaster, Malton and Scarborough, and emergency services, local authorities and other agencies to develop flood response plans
  • investigating the causes of significant flooding across the country
  • talking to housing developers to incorporate flood protection in new developments
  • developing ways to alert the public as soon as possible when there is a significant flood risk

What to do if there is a flood

    A man building flood defences

    Before a flood you should

    During a flood you should

    • move valuable and irreplaceable items to upper floors during a flood risk where possible
    • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies before flood water enters your home - do not touch any electrical appliances or cables when standing in flood water.
    • avoid non-essential travel and do not drive, cycle or walk through flood water
    • check on vulnerable neighbours who might need your help
    • avoid contact with flood water and wash hands regularly as it could be contaminated with sewage or chemicals
    • listen to your local BBC radio station for updates
    • not return to your home until it has been properly cleaned, dried and made safe if you must evacuate
    • secure doors and windows if you need to evacuate your home and bring your grab bag
    • call 999 if there is immediate risk to life
    Rescuers moving a car stuck in flood water
    A road closed due to heavy flooding

    After a flood you should

    1. Follow Government advice on what to do - there is information on the Government website.
    2. Be cautious of hidden dangers in flood water like sharp objects and make sure you wear protective clothing.
    3. Notify your insurance company and find out if you need to clean your home or if they will get a company to do it for you. Take photos and videos before you start cleaning and make a list of any damages. For more information on insurance visit the Association of British Insurers’ website.
    4. If you are drying your home naturally, keep all doors and windows open.
    5. Wash your hands with bottled water and boil all tap water until it is declared safe to use.

        Know your flood warning alerts

        Symbols for flood warning alerts

        Flood alert - when flooding is possible

        This is used two days in advance of flooding. 

        What you should do:

        • prepare a flood kit of essential items
        • monitor flood forecasts on our website

        Flood warning - flooding is expected

        This is used half an hour to one day before flooding.

        What you should do:

        • move family, pets and valuables to a safe place
        • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so
        • put flood protection equipment in place

        Severe flood warning - severe flooding and danger to life

        This is used when flooding poses a significant threat to life.

        What you should do:

        • stay in a safe place 
        • be ready to evacuate your home if required
        • call 999 if you are in immediate danger